The Bulls show their disappointment after conceding a try against the Chiefs. Photo: Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz

JOHANNESBURG - Now I know what it’s like being an Australian cricket fan - and it really sucks.

While the Baggy Greens were busy rubbing away at the little morality that is left in cricket in their crushing defeat to the Proteas at Newlands, just across the railway line the Stormers were doing their best to throw away the game to the Queensland Reds.

Cricket is facing one of its darkest hours and all thanks to the cheating Australians with their players having done their best to throw the sport into disrepute.

How the game of cricket will come out of this scandal is unknown but one thing is certain, the Baggy Greens have stripped the sport of its morality and chased away many aspiring youngsters.

At Newlands Rugby Stadium, the Stormers went into self-destruct mode but in the end managed to keep some rays of hope for South Africa, which was experiencing another dark and gloomy weekend in Super Rugby.

As much as the Stormers players almost handed the win to the Reds with their failure to make good of the many opportunities they had in hand and their poor defence towards the end of the game.

I could be stretching it a bit with the praise I give to the Stormers for this one victory but in light or rather darkness of the results of the Bulls, Sharks and Lions, a lot of people are looking for something positive from the weekend’s Super Rugby results.

The easiest scapegoats for the failures of the Bulls, Sharks and Lions will obviously be their coaches but I think it is high time the players shouldered some responsibility.

It is refreshing and pleasing to watch the Bulls play the brand of rugby they have shown under John Mitchell, but it's not enough if it doesn’t come with wins.

As difficult as it is playing the Crusaders in Christchurch, the Bulls will only have themselves to blame for not having capitalised on their earlier dominance which would have kept them in the contest.

In Buenos Aires, it looked as though the Lions players could not get over the mental block of never having beaten the Jaguares in their back yard and they seemed to play against themselves instead of keeping to the simple plan that coach Swys de Bruin has mapped out for them.

Then there was the disaster in Melbourne where the Sharks looked like a bunch of rank amateurs who were doing their best to lose a rugby match - and do so with an embarrassing score.

Well they were successful in not only embarrassing their coach Robert du Preez - who I think is not fit for the role - and themselves, as everything they did went against the competitive nature the game should be played in.

It is that lack of interest and negative body language on most of the Sharks players which will contribute to the ultimate demise of the game in South Africa.

It is nowhere near the scale of the crime carried out by the players of the Baggy Greens at Newlands Cricket Stadium, but the onus is on the players of the Bulls, Sharks and Lions to bring back the standards in rugby and make sure the game thrives and not dies at their hands.

Pretoria News

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